Legal Preliminaries

The minimum notice period has been extended from 14 clear days to 28 clear days. Anyone lodging marriage or civil partnerships notice from then on will have to allow for a 28 clear days notice period.

The legal preliminaries to marriage in Scotland are fully explained in a separate leaflet called Marriage in Scotland.

There is no residential qualification required for marriage in Scotland.

Both parties to the marriage have to fill in and sign a Marriage Notice Form. The forms need to be returned to the Registrar where the marriage is to take place, within three months, but at least 28 clear days prior to the marriage. Ideally, we would recommend that marriage notice forms are submitted to the Registrar ten to twelve weeks before the date of the marriage.

What you will need

The appropriate fees and both birth certificates should accompany the completed marriage notice forms.  Additional documents will be required to accompany the forms if either party has been previously married or in a civil partnership. The Registrar will be able to help you with this.

If a person is subject to immigration controls, they will need to satisfy certain immigration eligibility requirements before notice can be accepted. In particular, you will need to provide a Declaration of Immigration Status form. This form can be also be obtained from the Registrar’s office or on the NRS (National Records of Scotland) website. Evidence to support the statement you make on the Declaration of Immigration Status form will also be required. If you are in any doubt about what is required, or if you need further information, you should consult the Registrar or contact NRS.  If you are a foreign national, it is advisable to allow sufficient time for submitting marriage notice forms where additional documentation is required.

You will need to arrange for two people to be present to act as witnesses to your marriage (usually best man and bridesmaid).  The two witnesses must be aged 16 or over and be capable of fully understanding the proceedings.  The Registrar must be notified of the full names and addresses of both witnesses. Please also complete a Contact & Witness form and return with your paperwork.

If either party to the marriage or either of the two witnesses to the marriage are unable to understand or converse fluently in English, an interpreter will have to be present at the marriage.  Please consult the Registrar for advice.

If you are unable to download the marriage notice forms and the Marriage in Scotland leaflet, these documents are available from any Registrar in Scotland.

Please note that all documentation submitted to the Registrar must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted.

The Registrar will advise you on the current statutory fees and any additional fees.

If required, you can purchase replacement certificates online here: